Heaven and Hell: A Niall Horan/OC Fanfic

Chapter One: I'm afraid.

When you try your best, but you don't succeed.

When you get what you want, but not what you need.

When you feel so tired, but you can't sleep.

Stuck in reverse…

"But do you honestly think they'll like me?" I asked for what must have been the fifteenth time.

He sighed in an indulgent way. "Annie, they will LOVE you. How could they not?"

I made a 'Hmm.' Sound to display my doubt. He just chuckled once more.

"… What if your parents don't like me because I'm American?" I asked, tilting my head around the passenger seat headrest to give him a look.

He laughed. His laugh was so adorable. "Relax. Won't you trust me?"

I smiled. "Of course I trust you, It's me I'm worried about. I'm afraid my dirty mouth'll betray me."
He laughed even harder now, "Ha! Yeah, you're such a terrible influence on me! I'm the one who gave you your new vocabulary!"

I couldn't help but giggle. "Yeah, speaking of which, how did you get away with saying the F word in the middle of dinner with your mouth full of food, and still end the night as an angel in my parent's eyes?"

"It's a gift," He laughed. "Ooh, here we are!"

We pulled up to the little cottage that we had rented for the four-day-weekend, to stay in with his parents. It was just outside his native Mullingar, and the view didn't get much more beautiful.

I had been gazing out the window the entire time since we had arrived, I loved the stone houses, and the rolling green hills…

I saw that Niall's mum and dad's cars were already parked outside, in the little stone driveway. He pulled the car in behind them, and as soon as the car was shut off, his mother came running out the front door.

I quickly got out of the car, legs stiff from the car ride. She ran directly up to me and pulled me into a tight hug. I noticed she was slightly shorter than my already tiny 5'3". She held me by the shoulders and pulled back to look at me, making me slightly nervous. "So, you're the famous Annie we've been hearing all about." I could almost hear the blood rushing to Niall's cheeks. A big smile spread across her face. "Well, I can't say I'm disappointed to finally meet you. Big blue eyes, pretty smile… You're just as beautiful as he's been saying you are." Now it was my turn to blush.

"Thank you… Mrs… Horan?" I forgot to ask Niall what I should call her, how embarrassing.

"Gallagher," She corrected quickly, and jabbed her thumb over her shoulder to where Niall was hugging his dad. "He's Mister Horan. But let's just avoid all that stuff, eh? Call me Maura."

I smiled, backing up a few steps to extend my right hand. "Annie. Annie Sats." We shook hands in a close and friendly fashion. I liked her so much already, she just had such a light about her.

Just then, walked around the car to greet me. He smiled widely and held out his hand. "Bobby."

My cheeks hurt from smiling so much, but I couldn't help it. "Annie." I suddenly noticed Niall paused behind the trunk, halfway through getting our luggage out. He looked so insanely happy, and… Proud. He was proud to show me off. I smiled wider at him.

"Why don't you come inside and have some tea, and we'll catch up? Let these two lugs get our luggage?" I laughed and followed Maura into the house as Niall and his father got our luggage out.

"Really, a scientist? I would've never pegged you as that! I mean, you look very intelligent," Maura gushed on about my chosen career. "What made you choose that?"

"Oh, just an interest in the brain… I don't know really," I smirked. "I've just always wanted to know how people thought… So I chose neurology!"

She shook her head in amazement. "Well, goodness. Have you finished your P.H.D yet?"

I sighed. "No, four more years still. I'm studying via computer right now, since I'm coming everywhere with Niall."

"Alright, ladies, we've got all your luggage in the bedrooms." Bobby sighed dramatically like it was a huge task.

"How many clothes do you need for a weekend, anyway?" Niall chimed in jokingly.

As Bobby and Niall poured themselves tea, I couldn't help but notice how astoundingly well things were going so far. Everything rolling forward perfectly without a hitch, Niall's parents seemed to like me, everyone getting along perfectly…

"So, Annie was just telling me about her career, she's a neurological scientist." Maura said to Bobby.

My stomach flipped as I saw Niall beaming at me. Everything was so perfect.

I brushed my teeth and washed my face quickly. I was so eager to get back to Niall, it was a feeling that never seemed to fade. As soon as he left the room, I was tense until he returned. And the best part of this feeling was knowing he felt the same. My thoughts were punctuated by Niall popping his head in the bathroom door as I dried my face. He grinned at me in the mirror before returning to the bed.

We were saving ourselves until marriage, but we slept in the same bed. And I was always so comfortable in his arms, I can't even imagine how I slept before I met him. It didn't seem difficult at the time, but it would be impossible now.

I sat down on the edge of the bed as he lounged behind me. I carefully folded my glasses and put my hair in a bun, kind of teasing him with my slowness. Just as I was halfway through meticulously fluffing my pillow, he pulled me down so I was horizontal.

"You, Miss Sats, take much too long." He growled playfully in my ear.

I giggled and turned the light out. We kissed goodnight, slow and sweet, and laid down, his arms wrapped around me.

I reached up towards Niall, but I knew I couldn't reach. Their claws were digging deep into my skin, hurting so much, pulling me farther down, deeper, the heat too much, farther from him. Claws dragging, farther down, burning tingling dying and hurting so much. He was so far away, but I could still see his hands, reaching down, trying to bring me up, failing, the claws…

"Shh, shh, Annie. Annie? Annie, it's ok. Annie?" His worried voice was of little comfort to me as my body still shuddered. "It's ok, it wasn't real, calm down, baby, oh…"

I took a few hyperventilated shaky breaths. "No, no, you don't- you don't understand, Ni- Niall, it was so, " I gasped. "Real, Niall. Real."

He stroked my face. I was lying on my back now, and his body was hunched over mine. "It was a nightmare Annie. Just relax. I'm here, ok? I'm here."

I clutched him so tight, so scared, so afraid my dream would someday come true. "Ok, Ni, ok. It's so scary, every time it takes me by surprise. Every night, it still hurts, it slaps me in the face."

He hummed a few songs, and I was almost instantly asleep.

~Two Weeks Later~

"… Ashes to ashes, dust to dust…"

Words couldn't describe. The doctors said it came painlessly, but I couldn't believe them. A blood clot, in the brain. Ironic, one had said, That it had come in her line of work. I can't stand the nerve of them. The next day, the very next day, I was going to propose. I brought her out to Ireland, to my home, to ask her to be my wife in front of my parents. I had even asked her father for her hand when we were with them immediately before flying to Dublin.

In her sleep, painless. Now here we were, dressed in black, mourning the loss of my entire life. Annie was what I thought of when I woke, kissed before I went to bed. Loved and cherished every second of every day. Held at night.

I thought keeping her in my arms would keep her safe, I could protect her, my love would save her from any harm. She'd died from something I couldn't help.

And yet I still felt so guilty.

The day didn't exactly fly by, every second, every tick of the clock, was like a pin prick, another reminder of the pain. But it just seemed like the funeral was over sooner, I suppose, because I wasn't paying attention. I couldn't focus on anything in the real world anymore. I woke up that morning, could it be just two weeks ago? And trying to wake her. That might have been worst. Her, with me, but cold, unfeeling, dead in my arms, dying while I was asleep. That I was helpless. That all I could do was scream when I accepted it.

But because I wasn't in the real world, before I knew it, I was at my father's house, sitting on the couch. How did I end up here? How had I gotten here, when just this morning, it must have been, I was helping her unload her luggage?

And the tears come streaming down your face,

When you lose something you can't replace.

When you love someone, but it goes to waste…

Could it be worse?

-End Chapter One-